Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has demanded a share-out of positions in companies owned by, or participated in by the state, just as it had earlier demanded a share-out of senior military and police positions. The demand came on Monday, at the 114th session of the apparently interminable dialogue between government and Renamo delegations.  The dialogue has now moved onto the fourth and final point of its agenda, simply labelled “Economic Questions”. The dialogue moved onto this point over a month ago, on 13 July, but only now has Renamo submitted any proposal. The delay is extraordinary. For the entire agenda for the dialogue was designed over two years ago by Renamo. Yet in July, Renamo told the government delegation it had been “too busy” to draft specific proposals.
Renamo had proposed this point in April 2013. The dialogue was being held at Renamo’s request, using an agenda drawn up by Renamo. Yet it seemed that Renamo threw in the point about “economic questions” without having the faintest idea what it wanted to discuss.
Resultado de imagem para Paz negociadaOn Monday, the Renamo proposal finally took shape – and was entirely unacceptable to the government. At the press conference following the talks, the head of the government delegation, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, told reporters that Renamo had demanded “parity” in public companies.
The Renamo document (which has not yet been made public) “clearly shows a desire to politicize economic matters”, said Pacheco. Renamo wanted a share-out of economic positions “between the parties represented in parliament, excluding other Mozambicans”. The demand for a political division of positions in companies owned by the state was in clear contradiction to Renamo’s own demand for a separation between political parties and the state, Pacheco added. For his part, the head of the Renamo delegation, parliamentary deputy Saimone Macuiana, called for an “equitable division” of public resources. “The principle cannot continue according to which only those who hold the red cards of the ruling Frelimo Party can have access to resources”, he said. “Our proposal is that all Mozambicans, particularly members of Renamo, should benefit from these resources”.  The delegations also discussed implementation of last September’s agreement on the cessation of military hostilities, but once again made no advance on the key issue of disarming and demobilizing the Renamo militia. Renamo was using alleged attacks by government forces against its men in Tete province as an excuse for further delays.
“We still have no way to integrate men of Renamo’s residual forces into the army and the police, because Renamo insists that interventions are being made against its forces”, said Pacheco.

As for the declaration agreed to by both sides on 23 June on the separation of the state from political parties, an impasse remains on what further steps should be taken. Renamo wants the document presented as a fait accompli to the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, which would be expected to rubber-stamp it (which is what happened with the amendments to the electoral legislation in February 2014). The government, however, retorts that, if Renamo wants the document to be passed by the Assembly, then the Renamo parliamentary group can present it. At the end of the Monday session, Renamo returned five cars which the government had lent its delegation for use during the dialogue. The government had demanded them back, and so Macuiana handed the keys over to Pacheco. He did so under protest, but admitted “we can’t keep the cars when the owner wants them back”. This was the first public reference to the fact that the government has been assisting Renamo with transport, in addition to paying an allowance to the members of the Renamo delegation for attending meetings.  The mediators in the dialogue once again called on the outstanding military issues to be referred to a meeting between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhakama. Speaking for the mediators, prominent academic Lourenco do Rosario said that the two delegations had shown they were quite incapable of reaching consensus on the military issues. “It is our perception that no solution is going to emerge from the dialogue table”, he said. “We cannot see any solution that we can suggest to the two delegations to solve the military question”. So the only thing to do was to kick the issue upstairs. “These questions should be remitted to higher bodies”, said Rosario. “They are very sensitive matters and I can see no solution, unless there is a clear mandate from the two leaders, Filipe Nyusi and Afonso Dhlakama”.  As for the final agenda point, on economic questions, the mediators believed this should not be debated merely between the government and Renamo, but by all of Mozambican society.

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